Many readers know that I just completed a memoir titled Both Sides Now. The title is drawn from the iconic Joni Mitchell song. My story is a tale of love and loss, life and death. Everything at once.
I’ve so honored that Stand Up 2 Cancer featured an excerpt of my book from a chapter titled “Relief and the Plastic Brain.” This is a community I care so much about since my first husband died of brain cancer when our twins were only two and a half years old. The excerpt was selected because it spotlights two perspectives: that of patient and caregiver.
Stand up 2 Cancer is a philanthropic arm of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF). Through its powerful network of celebrity and scientific ambassadors, the organization raises awareness and vital funds for cancer research. More than $109 million has been awarded for research since 2008.
Here’s the beginning of “Relief and The Plastic Brain.” The “you” refers to my then husband, Brett.
You were so sick and so tired that you almost welcomed the diagnosis. You were relieved to know that you weren’t crazy. We saw the demon tumor ourselves, in vivid contrast, tacked to the fluorescent white board in your surgeon’s office. It was the size of a small rodent. A mouse or a dwarf rat.
No sooner did Dr. Balmaceda break the news to us (life really did combust in that moment), than she escorted us upstairs to the ninth floor, where your young neurosurgeon-to-be, Dr. Michael Sisti, greeted us in his plush office. He had a kind face, a soft voice, and bright blue eyes.
We stood looking at your brain scans as Dr. Sisti explained that the mass was lodged around the lower part of your cerebellum and down into your left medulla. We had no real knowledge of the inner workings of the human brain, how it is made up of over 100 billion nerve cells capable of 1000 trillion connections—all happening in a squishy, three-pound lump the size of a cantaloupe.
Please read the full text at Stand Up 2 Cancer.‘s home page.
I’d be especially pleased, too, if you would add your name to a growing list of people interested in being notified when the memoir is available.
Here are a few reviews.
“Both Sides Now is simultaneously devastating, inspiring and moving. The true story resonates with the bittersweet tragicomedy that is life; at once too strange to be real, often funny, excrutiating, and deeply romantic. Written by a courageous woman who has “been there”, her writing painstakingly makes the personal universal. She instills hope after loss, and gives us a literary primer on “how-to” survive when life hands you the unimaginable.”
Susan Cartsonis. Producer, “What Women Want,” “Where The Heart Is,” “Aquamarine,” and “No Reservations.”
“The Nancy Sharp you will meet in this moving memoir is an exemplar of honesty, courage, and grace. I know of no other book that addresses the pain of loss and the challenge of recovery with the fierce intimacy displayed in Both Sides Now.”
Dan Okrent. Author, Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition; former editor, Life magazine.”